Salida 3P Race – using multi-sport training to maintain overall fitness and paddling readiness

In mid April I competed in a really fun triathlon race in Salida, Colorado. It was not a traditional triathlon. This triathlon combines three of my favorite activities (kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking). The event is called the Salida 3P (Pole, Pedal, Paddle). Here is the description from the website:
Following the path of the spring runoff, competitors start at the Continental Divide, on Monarch Pass with a backcountry ski leg, then mountain bikes carry competitors in the shadow of Mt. Shavano to the banks of the Arkansas River where whitewater kayaks take paddlers into downtown Salida for an exciting finish. Participants can compete as a team or individually.
The Salida Pole, Pedal Paddle began in 1999 and is a truly unique, multi-sport event. The Salida Pole Pedal Paddle was reborn in 2008, and had a hard core following until 2014, when it lapsed back into hibernation.  In 2018, the Salida 3P returned stronger than ever! (http://www.3psalida.com/)

Backcountry skiing is a new sport to me. I just got all my own equipment at the beginning of this season. I was happy to be able to put my new skills and equipment to use in order to be able to complete all 3 legs of this race as an individual racer. My fiancé, Annie, also competed in the 3P as an individual. She is also new to backcountry skiing and I’m very proud of her for completing this demanding race with 3 solid race segments.

The Salida 3P was one of the most fun, unique, and physically demanding races I’ve done. I enjoyed pushing myself through each leg of the race while also trying to pace myself well enough to have enough energy for each segment. I am an amateur racer when it comes to skiing and biking so I competed in the recreational division. I was stoked to finish in second place and 13th overall.

In Colorado there are not many places to paddle in the winter. I love paddling. Staying fit in the off-season is really important to be able to perform well on the water in the spring and summer. Training for the 3P gave me great motivation to ride my bike (or gym bike in bad weather), and go backcountry skiing and push myself while skinning up the mountain. The cardio benefits I gained from the ski and bike training definitely helped my overall fitness and readiness for this paddling season. I also made sure to regularly do core and upper body strengthening exercises.

If you have an off-season from paddling, what activities do you use to stay fit? What do you use to motivate you to train harder for your fitness goals?

I used a Jackson Karma UL for the downriver portion. Unfortunately, I do not have any pics of me during the downriver or biking portion of the event.

I had a blast competing in the Salida 3P and I hope to make it back another year! If you are a skier, biker, and paddler I would highly recommend checking this race out!

Seth

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